Your wedding day is for you to enjoy and you should have someone else, ideally a wedding planner, take care of ensuring the day runs smoothly,” British-born May Martin shares as her most important piece of advice for future brides.
After meeting through friends whilst at school in Dubai, May and her French-Dutch husband, Marc Plaggenburg, spent many years building the foundations of what was to become their very own love story. A story that saw the couple go on to date for almost ten years.
Newlyweds May and Marc
“In April 2018 Marc and I decided that we wanted to get married so that was the official moment in which we started to plan our wedding,” the Ginger + Poppy bridal boutique owner tells BAZAAR Bride. “A few months later, the morning after our 10-year dating anniversary which is also Marc’s birthday, he woke me up with breakfast and a ring box on a tray. I didn’t notice the box until he picked it up, opened it and began his proposal. I couldn’t help but start crying. I can’t even remember what he said except that the last words were, ‘will you be my wife?’ It was as if we never even discussed getting married and it felt completely official (even though we’d booked the venue already). It was so simple but romantic — and was absolutely perfect for me”.
The romantic cave setting of the wedding breakfast
With just under a year to plan their spring wedding, the couple enlisted the help of the venue’s in-house planner and stylist to manage every tiny detail. “She communicated with all of the local vendors on our behalf. It was so easy to liaise with just one person — it made the process much simpler.” May explains.
For the 28-year-old boutique owner and her 29-year-old project manager beau, a destination wedding was always on the cards.“Marc is from the South of France and we’ve always wanted to get married there. It’s such a stunning place and has such natural beauty — it made sense for us.”
On May 11, 2019 the couple tied the knot in front of 62 of their closest friends and family at Chateau de Lartigolle, a beautifully renovated 18th century estate set in the picturesque Gascon landscape of south west France.
The chateau’s cave served as a romantic location for the happy couple to say ‘I do’
The wedding ceremony took place in the chateau’s cave and all eyes were on May in her Bo & Luca gown as she was accompanied down the aisle by her mother. The tone was set with an acoustic guitar version of Ben Howard’s Old Pine, performed by May’s brother.
“Our celebrant conducted the ceremony in both English and French for Marc’s family so that everyone felt included and my three bridesmaids recited an extract of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Love is a Temporary Madness. We knew they were going to share a reading but we asked them to surprise us with which one. It was so moving and undeniably perfect.”
May with her three bridesmaids and close friends
The culinary offerings were also perfectly on point. Sharing-style local dishes included duck salad with roasted garlic, orange and toasted pecans to start, baked leek and asparagus parmesan gratin or roasted sirloin steak for the main course, and towers of Eton Mess to finish. Guests danced the night away to British classics provided by local band, Stereo Ties. Music was pivotal in providing the right atmosphere and lasting memories. The most magical moment for May was the first dance to Alone by Jessie Ware. “We wanted something meaningful and a song we both loved.”
May and Marc shared their first dance to Jessie Ware’s, Alone
The newlywed’s honeymoon was an extension of their romantic day, with a coastal escape to the French resort towns of San Sebastian and Biarritz.
A classic French Citroen 2CV served as the wedding car
BRIDE’S BLACK BOOK
DRESS: Rosa by Bo & Luca, Gingerandpoppybridal.com
SHOES: Sam Edelman at Level Shoes, Levelshoes.com
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Cara, Carajewellers.com and A.B. Ellie, Abellie.com
WEDDING RING: Fergus James Diamonds, Fergusjames.com
GROOM’S SUIT: Suited & Booted Dubai, Suitedbooteddubai.com
GROOM’S SHOES: Bally, Bally.com
BRIDESMAID DRESS: Rewritten, Wearerewritten.com
VENUE & CATERER: Chateau de Lartigolle, Pessan, France, Lartigolle.com
FLORIST: Atelier D’Art Floral Munier, Munierfleurs.com
BAND: Stereo Ties, Stereoties.fr
INVITATIONS: Love x Design, Lovexdesign.com
PHOTOGRAPHER: Darek Smietana, Dareksmietana.com
VIDEOGRAPHER: Andrew Kelly, Andrewkellyfilms.com
MAKE-UP: Mel Kinsman, Melkinsman.com
From Harper's Bazaar Bride Autumn/Winter Issue 2019
All Images: Darek Smietana